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Archive for March, 2009

2009 Season kickoff weekend!

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

The autocross offseason is long and painful. Unlike those jerks on the West Coast, we only get to autocross for eight months a year. The four months where we can’t are filled with car acquisitions, talking about setup changes, research about setup changes, actual setup changes (including ill-advised arbitrary non-math based spring rate changes, buying clown car wheels with wide tires and, contrary to popular “import tuning” trends, actually *removing* large spoilers from turbo AWD cars) and a lot of Max’s on Broadway. This year was no exception – some updates:

  • John and Travis will be codriving in STX this year while Travis gets his NB Miata ready for C-stock. (No, Miata is not a strange slang word for “15 year old Saturn”.
  • Slava and Mei will again be representing the (literally) antique MKI MR2 in STS (formerly known as “STS2″). Slava put his “2″ magnets up for sale:Anyway….anyone want to buy two Orange “2″ magnets? Used one season, magnetic properties still like new!!!1 Did I mention that they are ORANGE? John’s response: Only driven slowly by an old man on Sundays?
  • Ben will be back in his STU Evo, but with 95% less spoiler. Technically it’s still a wing, because air passes underneath it. Take that, rulebook.
  • Kevin will be putting some shiny parts on his 2008 STi after abandoning his 05 STi. He’s been in touch with the nice folks from Vorshlag about a new suspension setup from AST that should be quite nice once dialed in.
  • Ed is officially the first BDR member that has to juggle having a child (congrats) and racing (and coincidentally, the first BDR member to own a minivan).

Time for some events!

Event #1: 3-28: CDC @ Harry Grove

Slava, Mei, Ben, Dan, Ed and Alski started the season off with a wet/cold event at Harry Grove. Results are not up yet, but people were pretty fast. E-man was displeased. John was getting his car ProTuned and could not attend.

Event #2: 3-29 CDC @ Harry Grove (Test n’ Tune)

Alski went back to try to get a crack at the same course, but in the dry. He knocked quite a bit off his time. His triumphant text message to Slava indicated “great success”. Say it with a Borat accent for full effect.

Event #3: 3-29 WDCR/SCCA @ Fedex (Test n’ Tune)

As is becoming DC tradition, the season greeted some with crummy weather. After a rainy Saturday and light mist Sunday morning, the course was pretty damp. Not quite this damp, … but not dry, either. (pic from the 4-20-2008 event, which ironically used the same course)

Kevin and Ben, both on new RE01Rs, got the blessing of running in the wettest heat. Josh put on a show, taking the fastest time in the heat and winning the class by almost nine tenths. Ben ended up in 3rd (a trophy position) with a 63.2. Kevin, still in a stock 08 STi (except for the tires) ended up in 10th.

John and Travis, both on last year’s RE01Rs in John’s WRX, got the slightly better but somewhat random “drying” conditions. John wasted four cones on his first run, feeling out the available grip. Travis, seeing an opportunity, took out four cones on the first sweeper (with the wrong side of the car), and picked up another few on the way to the finish. The second runs were less eventful, with both improving. John’s 3rd run netted a safe 63.5, but with drying conditions knew it was not going to be enough. Travis’s 3rd run was a second faster – 62.596 – but collective neglect of the tire pressures (now at 39/35 from a start of 36/32) had left the car, shall we say, spin-prone. Travis ended up taking out four cones after the lights, negating what was otherwise a great run. Both dropped time on their last run, but not enough to catch Larry (62.2) or Craig (62.558 !!!!!), leaving John 3rd and Travis 4th. That set up this exchange, later in the day:

Craig: John, where is your last name from?

John: I dunno, I think it’s French or something.

Craig: No it’s not.

John (as usual, not looking ahead): No, I think it is, when I was in France, I saw it in the phonebook…

Craig: It can’t be – I already know that “Obadia” is the French word for “slow”.

John: …

You cut me deep, Craig.

In STS (formerly STS2) Mei and Slava were eager to see how the car would work with a freshly reSlava’d engine and the new 225-width Toyos on 7.5″ wheels. The answer: really well. Slava’s first run was a dirty 60.4, which would have put him in 3rd (the last trophy slot) were it clean. Slava’s orange facemask seemed to pick up a few though, with Slava ending on a 61.6 and Mei taking round 1 of intraspouse battle with a 61.3. Applebottom jeans, perhaps the key?